Who makes the best chocolate in Ireland? Try these five Irish artisan chocolatiers who make everything you could ever want in chocolate form for Easter!
Is it just us, or does anyone else think it feels like it was only two minutes ago we were putting the Christmas decorations away for another year? One festivity ends and another is soon to begin. Easter is upon us. Easter falls earlier this year, which would explain the bombardment of Easter eggs already in the shops.
Floppy eared bunny shaped chocolates and sweet filled Easter eggs are beckoning to be bought. Little chocolate chicks and eggs wrapped in pastel coloured shiny foil are tempting the kids. Popular brands are mass produced and usually imported. Ireland now has a reputation for finest handcrafted chocolate, produced here by the specialist chocolatiers we know and love at Good Food Ireland. We firmly believe the chocolates they make are the best chocolates in Ireland!
Our chocolate makers spend hours creating perfect handcrafted edible treats from the finest chocolate in the world. They employ time, flair and expertise to make their works of art, especially for your delectation. And their imaginations run riot when it comes to making Easter goodies!
Here’s a brief run-down of our chocolatiers, where to find them and what they do!
Benoit Lorge is a French pastry chef turned chocolatier. He was one of the originals on the Irish food scene in this field. Benoit’s attention to detail and artistic touch guarantees you’ll get a chocolate piece like no other for Easter. Beautiful handmade eggs in plain or milk chocolate, decorated in edible foils like a work of art. We promise you won’t know whether to eat one of Benoit’s Easter eggs or just gaze at it admiringly forever! These are simply beautiful individual pieces of which you won’t see the like in a commercial range. Find Lorge Chocolate Shop in the pretty village of Bonane, Co. Kerry. Meet the man himself and see him working in his chocolate production at the shop. Browse his seasonal Easter creations, plus a fantastic range of individual chocolates, truffles and bars. All created with the fine eye of this Master Craftsman.
Husband and wife team Helena and Ferdinand Vandaele run Chez Emily chocolates from their home in The Ward, Co. Dublin. Ferdinand is the chocolate maker. Helena works beside her husband in their chocolate shop and cafe, named after their daughter. This business is the product of a fine love story between these two wonderful people, and Ferdinand’s work is inspired by the passion of the job. This Easter at Chez Emily, expect lots of hand made and decorated eggs, bunnies, chickens and other seasonal figures, all hand made from finest dark, milk and white chocolate. Personalise a chocolate egg or bar for your loved one, or discuss a bespoke piece if you really want to push the boat out.
Up in the wilds of rural Clare, this chocolate production and shop really has the right name! Patricia Farrell and her team are merry little workers, beavering away in a tiny chocolate production house in the country, weaving the most wonderful magic with the dark stuff…and the milk…and the white…You can even see this happening right in front of your eyes when you call in to the shop. The Wilde Irish Chocolate team will be busy behind the counter, working with the very best, velvety smooth melted chocolate, to dip marshmallow sticks, finish truffles, make bars and other favourites in this range. As well as busying themselves with Easter treats this time of year. The fragrant seductive smell of chocolate winds its way out the door of this place and right up your nostrils, so you won’t have difficulty finding the shop. Your nose will take you there! Find Patricia and the team at Tuamgraney, North Clare.
In Tullow, in rural Co Carlow, close to the border of south west Wicklow, Jim and Mary Healy own a chocoholics paradise! A beautiful chocolate boutique and cafe which elegantly shows off their wares. Their chocolate production facility right here on site brings Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to life! The Chocolate Garden of Ireland chocolates come in all shapes, sizes and styles. From hand moulded figurines, to little truffles and filled chocolates, logoed bars and chocolate lollipops. At Easter, you’ll find eggs to suit all chocolate tastes, beautifully boxed. Presentation gifts of chickens filled with eggs and bunnies and chicks and all things spring, hampers and chocolate gift boxes, all presented and wrapped exquisitely. Who could resist that? Wander and browse at will and meet Jim and Mary. You can also grab an ice cream – they make that here as well. Some people have all the fun! Chocolate workshops on 20th February, 6th March and during Easter 21st-31st March, including Easter Sunday, available to book now.
It’s fitting to find a dedicated chocolate workshop in one of the most scenic parts of rural Ireland. ChocONeill, owned by Jamie and Beatrice O’Neill, is located on Loch Gowna, just outside the village of Aughnacliffe in Co. Longford. A beautiful spot for a beautiful product to live. ChocO’Neill chocolates are influenced by the styles of the very best continental chocolates – the type you may find in a Parisian chocolate shop. Beatrice is from Luxembourg where fine chocolates are commonplace. These are people who devote themselves to creating a range that does not come into the ‘one size fits all’ category, as they say in their own words. ChocONeill chocolates are made from blends of the finest chocolates in the world, some of these extremely rare and sourced specially for the pair. Easter is pure heaven here – with a range of carefully made and decorated eggs flamboyantly wrapped. ChocoNeill make their signature ‘fresh’ chocolate truffles and bars in small batches each week. First come first served!